Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Voters - not politicians - need to decide $18 million jail bonds issue

By Don Weber | Nov 5, 2013

Don weber

Most of us don’t pay much attention to what the Madison County Board does.  With family, church, jobs and everyday living, we are all very busy and simply don’t have time to monitor individual County Board members or the County Board in general.  But I want to alert you to something the County Board is doing: Raising your property taxes by $1.3 million a year for the next 20 years without your approval or consent.

The Sheriff says that he needs $18 million to upgrade the jail.  I have personally put over 1,200 offenders in the County jail including over 500 murderers, rapists, child molesters and robbers when I was a prosecutor, so I know the value of having a good jail.  But $18 million works out to a $60,000 per cell “room upgrade,” and doesn’t even add one new cell.  Put this together with the fact that the County has over $18 million in the bank that isn’t being used (or earmarked on a politician’s wish-list) and you have a dilemma.

Why the new huge tax increase without a vote by the taxpayers?

Here is Alan Dunstan’s explanation:  “Sometimes when you’re in county government you have to make a decision for the people because you know more about the project than they know about the project.” [KMOV TV November 4th].

 We think the voters are intelligent enough to make up their own minds.

The jail bonds are a back-door tax, because these bonds will automatically increase your property taxes every year for 20 years when the levy is approved.  And we, the public, never get to vote on how to finance the jail upgrades unless we gather 18,000 signatures on petitions by November 18.

These signatures will require the politicians to explain why we need a new $18 million tax before we vote.  Opposition to this new tax without a vote by the taxpayers has grown.  Currently, volunteers have gathered over 8,000 signatures to put his new tax on the ballot.

We are asking for your support in this petition drive.  Please volunteer to help us pass petitions and get the 18,000 signatures we need.  Petitions are available by contacting the grass roots organizers at 618-623-2796, Facebook at bondsonballot, or you can email us at  Contact us.  We will see that you get petitions.

We think the voters, not the politicians, need to decide this issue.  We hope you agree.

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